One Night in Miami

Director: Regina King
Year Released: 2020
Rating: 2.0

On February 25, 1964, four prominent African-American men - boxer Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), football player Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and preacher Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) - met at the Hampton House following Clay's defeat of Sonny Liston and this film (adapted by Kemp Powers from his play) re-imagines what the dialogue between the men could have been about (but most likely wasn't).  As an ensemble, the central cast of four are very good (they get a lot of the mannerisms right without becoming caricatures), however the movie itself never seems to detach itself from its origins on the stage - each individual is given ample time to pointedly reveal their own agendas - and instead of being just a fun night with four very different people, it becomes a tedious lecture to both itself and its audience (the "militant" Mr. X has a problem with Sam Cooke over not speaking truth to power like Bob Dylan).  The early scene with Beau Bridges is a cheap provocation, because let me tell you: if I had furniture to move, there's no way my scrawny behind would refuse assistance, especially from one of the most ferocious running backs of all time (if Emmitt Smith or Walter Payton were around, they could lend a hand too).